A year ago, the Hands-Free law in Georgia was passed. The law forbids drivers from utilizing their phones without a hands-free or Bluetooth device. Even having the phone touching your person is illegal now. This law was passed because of a rise in accidents from distracted driving from cell phones. Texting has been an overwhelming cause of accidents. Even a “quick text” takes your eyes off the road long enough to allow an accident. Currently, 64% of all accidents in our country have involved a cellphone in some way. The team at Southside Wrecker has witnessed these accidents firsthand and we only want to protect you.

Never use your phone without hands-free or Bluetooth devices—Following the law or fear of punishment should be enough to motivate you to stay off the phone. Whatever message you received can wait until you are able to stop or respond hands-free. You are six times more likely to cause an accident texting than while driving under the influence. Obviously, you should not drive while impaired in any way. If you must text, utilize your voice text options to respond. Your phone does have an option to automatically respond to texts when you are driving with “I’m driving and will respond when I stop.” This could be a great option to resist the temptation to text.

Help the teenagers in your life understand the dangers—Car accidents are the leading cause of teenagers in our country. They are still learning how to drive, and they can overestimate their abilities or become distracted. Even with laws in place, 11 teenagers a day are still dying from texting while driving incidents throughout our country. As adults, we must set a good example by demonstrating safe driving and use of technology. Teenagers need to understand the consequences for themselves and others. If you allow your teenagers to have a phone in the car, make sure they have a proper hands-free option set up.

Remember the consequences—No text message is more important than your life, the lives of your passengers, or the lives of other motorists in the cars around you. Even if your phone usage does not lead to an accident, you are putting everyone in unnecessary danger. Even if an accident has not occurred, if you are caught texting, you will be given a hefty fine of at least $150 and a point will be marked on your license. Having points marked on your license could lead to a loss of your license as well as dramatic increases on your insurance costs. Your phone can wait. The downsides are just not worth it.

If you have been involved in an accident and need a wrecker service, the Southside Wrecker team is standing by to help 24/7. Stay safe and keep your hands off your phone!